Some days, I feel like a broken record. There are so many things that have become so ingrained into our parenting culture that very few people question it any more. And I’ve written before about how some things seem very subjective, but when it comes to health and safety, the truth is pretty black or white. So, dear interwebs….it’s time to break some bad habits and burst some bubbles.
When you know better, you do better.
1) No baby should ever be fed 8 ounces of anything in a bottle.
This has nothing to do with formula or breastmilk. A baby’s stomach is only as big as his fist, which means that realistically speaking, a baby should really only be fed 2-4 ounces from a bottle. Any more than that is overfeeding, plain and simple. And it turns out that it doesn’t matter if it’s breastmilk or formula in a bottle– overfeeding leads to obesity.
Here’s info on how much breastmilk a baby should be given via bottle.
Here’s some info on how much to feed a formula-fed baby.
2) Limit the amount of time your baby spends in “containers”
More than half of babies now have a flat head by age 1. And truth be told, I’m not shocked. I see too many flat heads when I’m around babies. While some of it may be caused by tight neck muscles (some times caused by a tongue tie), the use of too many baby containers is primarily to blame. Parents move their babies from a bouncy seat…to a swing…to one of those magical baby moving chairs….to a car seat…..and so on.
Limit the amount of time your baby spends in these containers. Do more “tummy time”. And find a way to carry your baby in a sling or wrap or other carrier that works for you and your budget. Babies who spend too much time in containers can also end up with under-developed stomach and back muscles, learn fewer words, and not have a chance to learn how to interact with other people.
When you need to start making meals, need to take a shower, etc, then the swing or seat for a short about of time is perfectly safe, though.
3) Car seats are for cars
Want to hear something staggering?
“An estimated 43,562 car seat–related injuries [EXCLUDING AUTO-CRASHES] were treated in emergency departments from 2003 to 2007.”
Stunning, yes? Over 40,000 babies ended up being injured from falls and other accidents while they were in a car seat that wasn’t in the car. I’m sure if a newer study was done they’d have similar findings. The rules for safe car seat use are black and white. Your baby is either safe or in danger.
- Car seats should never be placed on top of shopping carts in the seat area. The basket is OK, but not in the small shopping carts (and see above).
- Car seats should NEVER be placed on restaurant high chairs.
- Car seats should not be placed on tables, chairs, beds, in cribs, in those sling things the restaurant was suckered into buying….your baby should NEVER be left in a car seat on an elevated surface.
- If your baby is in the car seat that’s been placed in a compatible stroller, baby MUST be strapped in. Babies wiggle and fall out more than you want to know.
- Behind falls, the other cause or injuries or worse is suffocation—which is why you should never leave a child of ANY age strapped into a car seat to sleep unattended.
4) It’s normal for breastfed babies to poop anywhere from more than 7 times a day or once every 7 days…or more.
Breastmilk does not cause constipation. Some times I forget to warn moms that it’s totally normal for exclusively breastfed babies to get super efficient about breastmilk digestion and just not poop very often. Hey, as a new mom I freaked out about it too….until I found my trusty breastfeeding book that told me it was totally normal. That experience inspired the phrase “fro-yo poo.”
I’m sure there’s more that I can think of….there’s always more. But 4 things is plenty for now, yes?
I hope this is helpful!